Maisel’s book on navigating the world with an artist’s personality was pivotal in jolting me out of my illusion of isolation.
He writes how the creatives often feel they have a special, vital role to play in society:
From a considered vantage point outside of society, we observe and witness and judge. After all, we’re creatives. And part of the job description is maintaining a certain stance as an outsider, rebel and trickster. That’s where the best art comes from. The question is:
To what extent are we trapped in our own status as an outsider? Is the energy we bring nauseating, antisocial and unpleasant to breathe for those on the inside? And does over identifying with the outsider mythology leave us out in the cold, disconnected from possibility?
Questions like these finally forced me to confront my antisocial tendencies. To accept the many ways in which I make myself an outsider. Because it’s not the world’s fault that I feel like an alien from another planet staring into the window of the party.
I’m the one pushing away human connection. I’m the one making a habit of isolating myself.
The goal, then is to move from stagnation and isolation into expansion and cohesion. To constantly ask ourselves the how we might involve more people more often.
Because the most damaging psychological state in the world is isolation. And the scary part is, it’s a self inflicted wound.
Joni sang it best:
I know we’ll never be perfect, and never entirely clear. We get hurt and we just panic, and we strike out of fear.
I fear the sentence of this solitude, two hundred years on hold. And all we ever wanted, was just to come in from the cold. She’s right. When we remain in isolation too long, we fail to challenge ourselves. Even the artist must learn to manage the tension between alienation and assimilation.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Did you ever notice how cigarette packs come with warnings, but loneliness doesn’t? * * * *
That Guy with the Nametag
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